Daily Reflection
May 24th, 2002
Deb Fortina
Academic Affairs
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James 5:9-12
Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 8-9, 11-12
Mark 10:1-12

James 5:9-12  “Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another, that you may not be judged.  Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates....”

Psalm 103:1-4, 8-9, 11-12  “…As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our transgressions from us…”

Mark 10:1-12  “…’Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her.’  But Jesus told them, ‘Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment.’…”

As I read today’s readings and began to think about the lesson, I knew this was one I could easily reflect on each day, especially the reading in James about not judging others.  The message in the Letter of James talks about personal integrity too, let your yes be yes, and your no, be no.  One day I realized that keeping my own ship on course was a full time job.  I wondered how I ever thought I had time to spend judging how others were doing with their choices.  I thought about how many times, my judging others was directed towards my family, or the people I love the most.  As I was preparing to write this reflection, I discovered that the two other sources I use for daily reflections were on this same topic.

In the God Calling entry for May 13th titled “Never Judge,” some of it read as follows:

…“Can you see yourselves absolutely unmoved?  Think of Me before the mocking soldiers, being struck, spat upon and answering never a word—never a word.  Try to see that as Divine Power.  Remember by that Power of perfect silence, perfect self-control, you can alone prove your right to govern.

Never judge.  The heart of man is so delicate, so complex, only its Maker can know it.  Each heart is so different, actuated by different motives, controlled by different circumstances, influenced by different sufferings.

How can one judge of another?  Leave to Me the unraveling of the puzzles of life.  Leave to Me the teaching of understanding.  Bring each heart to me, its Maker, and leave it with Me.  Secure in the certainty that all that is wrong I can set right.” (God Calling, AJ Russell editor, Barbour Publishing, Inc. pg.101) 

I thought this sure ties in with my readings; they are both so logical; so why can’t I follow the suggestion?  The Letter of James also spoke about integrity, and while I was preparing the reflection, that morning on the radio, I heard another correlation being drawn about this lesson on integrity.  I was listening to Ron Hutchcraft’s daily reflection for May 14th, he calls “A Word with You.”  He talked about how many businesses were dropping the accounting firm, Arthur Anderson, after the Enron ordeal, even though they had trusted their business to them for a long while.  About trust, it takes a lifetime to build it, and a moment to lose it.  The words from James invite us, to not swear, but to let our yes be yes, and our no be no; at all times be full of integrity with everyone.  Ron Hutchcraft says, “Always take the high road, no matter what it costs, no matter how long it takes.  Because when trust is lost, everything can be lost.”  (The transcripts of this A Word with You message is at this site:  http://gospelcom.net/rhm/awwy/awwy2002/may2002/awwymay.htm)

In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus is approached by the Pharisees and asked the question about divorce.  My heart skipped a beat when I realized I had this subject for reflection.  The topic is hard for me, as a single person who could never commit for a lifetime.  It is also a hard topic as I think about the choices other people make, who have entered into multiple marriages.  I felt some relief when I realized I had an opportunity to sit and reflect on both readings together, so I could begin to heal.  From the reading in James I am reminded that I am not to judge my brothers and sisters for their choices.  I am also reminded to ask the Lord for direction for my own choices.  On all other matters, especially concerning others, take it to prayer and ask the Lord for direction and healing for them too. 

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